Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/104

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82
Plutarch's Morals

of the commonweal, he gave place thereto, and kicked not again: for this Ulysses had no private matter nor particular quarrel against him, but spake frankly for the benefit of all Greece: whereas Achilles seemed to be offended and displeased with him principally, for some private matter between them twain. And even Achilles also himself, although he was never known for to be a man of a gentle nature and of a mild spirit,

But rather of a stomach fell,
And one who would accuse
A guiltless person for no cause,
And him full soon abuse,

endured Patroclus patiently, and gave him not a word again, notwithstanding he taunted and took him up in this wise:

Thou merciless and cruel wretch,
Sir Peleus, valiant knight
Was never (sure) thy father true.
Nor yet dame Thetis bright
Thy mother kind: but sea so green.
Or rocks so steep and hard
Thee bare (thy heart of pity hath
So small or no regard).

For like as Hyperides the orator required the Athenians (who complained that his orations were bitter) to consider of him, not only whether he were sharp and eager simply, but whether he were so upon no cause, nor taking any fee; even so, the admonition and reprehension of a friend, being sincere and cleansed pure from all private affection, ought to be reverenced: it carrieth (I say) authority with it, and no exceptions can well be taken, nor a man dare lift up an eye against it: in such sort, as if it appear that he who chideth freely, and blameth his friend, doth let pass and reject all those faults which he hath committed against him, and maketh no mention thereof, but toucheth those errors and misdemeanors only which concern others, and then spare him not, but pierce and bite to the quick: the vehemency of such free speech is invincible, and cannot be challenged, for the mildness and goodwill of the chastiser doth fortify the austerity and bitterness of the chastisement. Well therefore it was said in old time; That whensoever we are angry, or at some jar and variance with our friends, then most of all we ought to have an eye unto their good, and to study how to do somewhat that is either profitable unto them, or honourable for them.

And no less material is this also to the maintenance of friendship, if they that think themselves to be despised and not well